[F1 2019 VIDEO FEATURE] CARLOS SAINZ: IN THE ZONE

Spanish racer Carlos Sainz heads into the final four races as McLaren’s clear benchmark, the 25-year-old sixth in the drivers’ standings… as the sport’s best-of-the-rest.

Sainz sits just behind both Mercedes, Ferraris and his former teammate Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen, albeit well-behind on points, with 76 post-Japan. Three up on Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly. 

Of course, Sainz is doing just what he should be doing, delivering results in F1’s fourth-fastest car and bringing home the points and cracking into the top-six, which he’s done seven times this year.

And it’s in racecraft where he’s shown the way to his highly rated rookie teammate Lando Norris, fighting Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton for fourth in Japan all the way to Turn 3 on Lap 1.

The Spaniard has gone 11-4 in races when they could be compared. He also has 41 more points, 76 to 35. But it’s far closer in qualifying with the pair split almost down the middle 8-9.

Of course, Sainz knows it’s crucial to stay ahead with McLaren his third team in three years and Norris a star of the future.

The Spaniard doubling down pre-season and moving to England, to be closer to the team and part of its resurgence.

SOUNDBITE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, McLAREN:
“Definitely I’ve been around a lot more than any other team [in] these last couple of months. Moving in definitely helps, living 15- minutes away from here - being available for the team for whatever they needed me, was a really good move for myself, for the team.”

There’s no doubt Sainz and Norris have a fantastic camaraderie, which is driving the team forward. But the Spaniard must keep the pressure on to stay beyond 2020, with the team’s competitiveness on the rise. 

But Sainz, who replaced his hero Fernando Alonso at McLaren from this year, is doing all the right things to stay there and felt comfortable at the Woking squad from the outset.

SOUNDBITE (English) CARLOS SAINZ,
F1 DRIVER, McLAREN:
“It is a new team, it is a new car, it is a new I think philosophy, it is a recovery plan taking place here. But I already feel at home, so it doesn’t feel like a new team after these three months, no?”